on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 9:00 AM
A prisoner at the Auschwitz concentration camp serving in the Sonderkommando (prisoners forced to do grisly tasks for the Nazis) finds a young boy who initially survives the gas chamber, and makes it his mission to protect him as if he were his son.
Geza Rohrig is heartbreaking as Saul, a broken man desperate to maintain dignity in a situation determined to destroy him and his spirit. Director Laszlo Nemes films in a way where Rohrig is constantly in focus, and the horrors around him are often blurred. It’s as if the camera is a prisoner in the camp trying to shut everything out. It’s a bold choice, and Rohrig delivers a solid and stirring performance.
Also in the background would be the events leading up to a legendary Sonderkommando revolt. It isn’t until late in the film that it becomes apparent that is part of the film’s purpose. Son of Saul is nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, and I suspect it will win.